Illusion takes on many forms in this dualistic world. At the root of all these forms is the thought that I am separate from others, the natural world, and from the Origin of all things. Feeling separate, I tend to judge myself or others as less than me or more than me. I might also judgmentally compare religions, politics, social status, appearances or possessions.
The illusion of my separateness took root at birth. My fingers on both hands were “deformed.” Growing up “different” presented challenges. I was in my early forties, in the throes of life altering-events when I first questioned my reflection in the mirror through tear-filled eyes. Why was I born abnormal? I heard an inner voice respond: That which you call your “abnormality” is actually your Soul’s link with compassion for all life. The voice continued: People enter physical life with some sense of separateness, manifesting either outwardly or inwardly. You wear yours outwardly for all to see. The voice ended by suggesting: Take stock of how your life has unfolded as a result of your link with compassion. How has your “difference,” in your perception, both separated you from and connected you with others?
I followed the voice’s suggestion. I discovered that my feeling of separateness had permeated every aspect of my personal and professional life. It motivated all my pursuits. Like a pit-bull I competed to prove my value to others, but actually to myself. I was very defensive and guarded. Behaving separate alienated me from others. In contrast (and perhaps because of my abnormality) I also recognized that I am capable of deep empathy, compassion and tenderness. I root for all underdogs. These contrasting qualities puzzled me.
I came to realize that these contrasts revealed that which I am not (separate) as well as that which I AM (one with all things through my Essence, tenderness). I can comfortably embrace living in a state of contrast knowing now that I have choices about which of these qualities to employ in creating my reality. I am gaining wisdom. I wondered more: If I’ve created my life and all I have from my sense of separateness, then what am I capable of creating for myself and the world from my Essence, my tenderness, and my expanding sense of union with all things?
Taking time out from the daly motion of life for introspection allows me to embrace life’s contrasts and paradoxes without the need to take sides. This helps me maintain inner balance and neutrality. Sustaining neutrality, I am free from the conditioned judgmental behavior of separation consciousness; free to consciously connect with my Soul. I’ve come to see my ventures into the illusion of my separateness as my Soul’s way of providing valuable lessons in humility, patience and kindness – tools I require to fulfill the destiny my Soul has designed for me. By bursting the illusion of my separateness, the Essence of my Soul is free to express fully and join with others in birthing the New Earth where our Union guides all human endeavors.